Boone and Crocket Bear (and no, it’s not the sequel to Cocaine Bear)
For those of you familiar with Trajectory Ministries, you know that Lori is the writer and I’m much more comfortable speaking, but she asked me to write a couple of posts for the Disillusioned Series - with assurance that she would edit them! I told her I was going to write “Manly Disillusionment," and although she didn't seem to think that was the best title, the point remains that men deal with disillusionment too. It may involve their faith, family, relationships or career, but there's also those manly hobbies and goals we set for ourselves...
When I was a football player and student at North Carolina State University back in 1987, a group of us went to a Wake County Wildlife Club (WCWC) hunting show. We met a man there named Dick Idol, who had also been a football player at NC State, but was known as a top Whitetail deer hunter in America at the time. He had twenty of the largest Whitetail deer ever taken in the United States on display. While learning about the deer, we also learned about the Boone and Crockett Club, which someone can become a member of if they have killed one of the largest North American mammals.
Growing up in the foothills of North Carolina, I loved Daniel Boone. He was a hero to me and many others. I can still remember watching Fess Parker play Daniel Boone on the TV series of my youth. I decided that day at the WCWC hunting show that I wanted to have my name written in the Boone and Crocket record book - and I thought about it for several years. Unfortunately, very few Boone and Crocket bucks are taken in North Carolina and I never saw one large enough.
I thought about the Boone and Crocket record book less and less as the years passed and I started a family, surrendered to God’s call to full time ministry and went to Seminary. I ended up pastoring a church where many avid sportsman attended and in 2010 I was invited to go on a bear hunt in coastal North Carolina where some of the biggest black bears are located. Although they're not easy to find, I spotted a large bear on the second day and was able to take him down. I was new to bear hunting, so I had no idea how large it was until we checked it in and had it weighed. I was shocked to learn that it was over 614 pounds! This was truly the bear of a lifetime!
The Boone and Crockett record book for black bears goes by the size of the skull and not weight, so I had to wait six months to find out if it was large enough to make it in the all-time record book. The day came when it was measured and it was well over the measurement needed. I was overwhelmed! After all those years of wanting my name written in that book it had finally happened. I had done it! My bear and I were going to be written in the Boone and Crocket record book with some of the greatest huntsmen in the world.
I was so excited about this new achievement and life goal I had finally accomplished, but as the next few days turned into weeks, I realized that nothing had changed in my life. There were no calls from gun companies or binocular manufacturers wanting me to write an article or be on a television program about my bear of a lifetime. Even my hunting buddies didn’t seem all that impressed! After all those years of striving to have my name in the Boone and Crocket record book, nothing had changed. I thought it would bring much more fulfillment than it actually did and I remember feeling very disillusioned with my achievement.
I was reminded through scripture that although nothing really changed after having my name written in the Boone and Crocket record book, there was another book my name is written in that not only changed my life, it changed my future - that's the Lambs Book of Life! The Bible tells us that those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ have their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life and our names will never be scratched out. We are safe in Jesus forever!
"Manly Disillusionment" may not be a catchy title but it is very real when it comes to the goals and achievements we strive to obtain. What's important to remember and understand during those times we feel disillusioned is that our relationship with our Savior is the only thing that will bring us the fulfillment we're seeking. Accomplishing worldly things and achieving goals may feel good for a while, but they are extremely temporal. In fact, the only benefit of having my name written in the Boone in Crocket record book is that I am able to use it as an illustration of how much better and satisfying Jesus is and to share that Good News with others! We are created in God’s image and our relationship with Him is more important and satisfying to our soul than anything this world has to offer.
If there is something you're seeking after or trying to obtain that you think will bring you fulfillment of some kind, remember that Jesus Christ and your relationship with Him is the one thing in this life that will never leave you disillusioned!
Even though being written in the Boone and Crocket record book was a cool life goal, it doesn't compare to having my name written in the Lamb's Book of Life and the fulfillment I find as I grow in my relationship with Jesus Christ everyday.
When I think about my life in Christ, I’m never disillusioned, but always grateful and amazed by His grace, unhindered.
Lord, help me to surrender everything to you, even my hobbies and goals. Please help me to remember each day that genuine fulfillment only comes through you and that you will never leave me disillusioned. Amen.